Staff Writer, DL Mullan
Government / Activism
In the VDP Gazette's article, National Security is a Joke Because There Is Nun, we discussed how Sister Megan Rice, an 83-year-old Catholic nun, with a hammer and some bolt cutters as well as two other aged accomplices broke into a secure nuclear facility called: Y-12 National Security Complex, as known as America's "Fort Knox" of weapons-grade uranium to make a point.
This week their sentences were handed down:
Federal District Judge Amul R. Thapar sentenced both Greg Boertje-Obed, 58, of Duluth, and Michael Walli, 65, of Washington, DC, to five years and two months in prison (“62 months,” in the parlance of the federal court) plus three years of heavily supervised probation. Sr. Megan Rice, 84, of New York, NY, was sentenced to 35 months in prison plus three years of probation.
"Woe to an Empire of Blood."
Sister Megan Rice stated that: "They know that they are the human fallout and the victims of the profiteering by the elite and top leaders of the corporations that are contracted to make the nuclear weapons. It's (the money) denied to human services that should be the priority of any government."
Paul Magno, Rice's friend and an anti-nuclear activist said: "Very frustrating was the fact that the prosecution and the judge worked very hard to avoid paying attention to the (nuclear) weapons factor, the cause of their activism," he said. "And unless our legal institutions will face that, peace activists will continue to take issue with it and invite the government to investigate the war industry."
"Any goverment that would lock up Megan, Michael and Greg is desperate to hide the truth. By their actions, they have broken the silence; their sacrifice challenges each of us to speak up for a safer world," a network of supporters led by Magno and Hutchison, [a supporter of Rice], wrote in a statement.
"The Fruit of Justice is Peace."
"They're supposed to be leaders on something like this. There hasn't been any kind of statement from Catholic bishops on what Megan has done," retired Bishop Thomas Gumbleton, a noted peace activist, told Al Jazeera in an interview in December.Anyone would expect that the Catholic Church would have sent out a press release either supporting or admonishing the nun's actions. Silence is what Sister Megan Rice received. Perhaps part of the problem of the world is that of an indifferent church to the needs of the people.
How can there be peace if there is no justice? Did District Court Judge Amul Thapar do his job in creating a fair trial for the defendants or did he make another monkey court of suits on parade?
Ignoring each of the defendant’s direct appeals to the government’s binding legal obligations under the NPT and the Constitution (which holds that treaties are the “Supreme law of the land”) Judge Thapar repeatedly accused the three of showing “complete disrespect for law.”This type of outlandish judicial behavior also shows that National Security isn't about securing anything. It's about the illusion that the United States government has the national security interests of Americans in mind.
Judge Thapar’s accusation of “lawlessness” was plainly dishonest and likely designed for the press, especially in view of his pre-trial orders forbidding the defendants from presenting legitimate law-based defenses. The defense of necessity —that unlawful government actions may be interfered with by citizens acting in the spirit of crime prevention —was also disallowed by Judge Thapar, who ruled before trial that the question of whether nuclear weapons production is unlawful was not relevant to the case and would confuse the jury. What the judge did not say was that when juries are allowed to consider evidence of the outlaw status of nuclear weapons, they regularly find protesters not guilty by reason of
So what is the point? Have you ever wondered why America is the way it is these days? Why judges and lawyers protect this State instead of the People?
There are answers to these questions and no American is going to like what they hear, but it's about time we set aside our differences and embrace the fact that the United States, Inc. is not our country. It's our prison.
We all might as we have committed lawlessness because we are paying a price for it anyway.